Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt and his Alabama roots

Alabama News

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt yells at the officials during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Jeremy Pruitt, head football coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, owes a lot to Alabama.

Not only did Pruitt play defensive back for the Crimson Tide under Gene Stallings, but he also went on to become a graduate assistant and coach with Nick Saban at Alabama for six years. He also happens to be an Alabama native. 

Pruitt was born and raised in Rainsville, where his father was a longtime high school head coach at different schools in the area. Pruitt played under his dad at Plainview High School, where he was named All-State in 1991 and 1992. 

Although Pruitt was recruited as a quarterback, he switched to defensive back during his freshman season at Middle Tennessee State University. After his sophomore season, Pruitt decided to return home to play for Alabama, where he played for two seasons. 

Pruitt then became a graduate assistant on the team working mainly alongside defensive backs. He went on to coach as an assistant coach under his dad at Plainview high school for two years and Fort Wayne for another two years. 

Still in Alabama, Pruitt received his degree from the University of West Alabama while he coached defensive backs. 

High school football in Alabama is considered some of the most competitive football in the country. After graduation, Pruitt decided to stay in his home state and coach at Hoover High School as an assistant coach from 2004 to 2006, winning a state championship and appearing in MTV “Two-a-Days,” a show highlighting the powerhouse Hoover football team. 

After that, Pruitt played a huge role when it came to the University of Alabama’s football program. He was the director of player personnel for a number of years and defensive backs coach. Years later, he came back to replace Kirby Smart at Alabama and became the defensive coordinator that was part of the 2017 national championship team.

In 2018, he was named head coach at Tennessee.

Needless to say, Pruitt played a major role in football across Alabama. 

Pruitt and the Volunteers are set to host Nick Saban and Crimson Tide Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS 42.


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